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Tigrayan peacekeepers in Somalia disarmed by Ethiopian colleagues amid conflict at home

By Katharine Houreld

Nairobi – Ethiopian peacekeepers in Somalia have disarmed between 200 and 300 of their ethnic Tigrayan colleagues over the past week as conflict rages in the northern Ethiopian region, four security and diplomatic sources told Reuters.

The soldiers’ weapons were removed due to concerns over the their loyalty, the sources said, without detailing the process. They said they included bilateral and African Union troops.

The Ethiopian government, a military spokesman and African Union (AU) peacekeeping force did not respond to calls and messages for comment. An Ethiopian government taskforce on Wednesday denied the authorities were targeting ethnic Tigrayans in any way.

Ethiopian troops began fighting forces from the northern region of Tigray earlier this month after what the government described as a surprise attack by Tigrayan forces on their colleagues stationed there.

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